2012 Reds

On Bronson Arroyo

No sailing, no guitar, no golf? Say it ain’t so, Bronson!

Arroyo has probably been my favorite player the last few years, but I don’t even like to write about him anymore. That contract extension Walt Jocketty handed him last off-season still makes me sick to my stomach. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that Bronson can rebound somewhat next year, even if I’m not very confident about it.

24 thoughts on “On Bronson Arroyo

  1. I’d have rathered he would have taken care of himself for a month on the DL and maybe not have been so inconsistent all year. Plus then maybe he wouldn’t have gone all Milton on us.

  2. @Matt WI: You really do have to wonder how it would have changed Arroyo’s season and the team’s if he would have sat for a month or six weeks early on instead of trying to soldier through.

    I think the key was the context. Cueto and Bailey were down and there were already all sorts of warning signs that Volquez wasn’t ready either.

    In retrospect, I think sitting out probably would have changed Arroyo’s year for the good but I don’t see it making that much of an overall positive impact, maybe would have gotten the team to .500 or so at best.

  3. I respect what Bronson is doing but he’s swimming against the tide, the tide of aging. He knows he has to get his fastball back to something decent, and that’s not going to be easy. I wish WJ hadn’t done the contract extension but I also wish Bronson the best.

  4. Bronson is a standup guy, which worked to his detriment this year by taking starts when he should’ve been resting. I really hope his offseason routine pays off. It encouraging to read that he recognizes his biggest problem is left-handed batters–addressing that will be huge.
    We just need him to revert back to being a solid #4 guy–league average, nothing more. That’s achievable.

    • Bronson is a standup guy, which worked to his detriment this year by taking starts when he should’ve been resting. I really hope his offseason routine pays off. It encouraging to read that he recognizes his biggest problem is left-handed batters–addressing that will be huge.We just need him to revert back to being a solid #4 guy–league average, nothing more. That’s achievable.

      Arroyo was arguably the worst stater in baseball this year, so I’m not as optimistic as you are that he can “revert back to being a solid #4.” His tRA+ was 67. League average tRA+ for a No. 5 is 76. Arroyo looks even worse when you consider the mythical 5th starter doesn’t really exist at all. It’s more a hodge podge of games to AAAA pitchers filling in for injuries, games to prospects, etc.

      Although, leauge average for a No. 4 is 91. Arroyo was that in 2009 (92), and certainly qualified as a very good No. 4 in 2011 (98). So, yes, if Arroyo gets back to 91-98 he will be an average to above average fourth starter. STILL, I wouldn’t count on it.

      Put it this way, I’d rather have Bailey as the No. 4 (93, 115, 98) with Arroyo taking over as the long man/No. 6. (I also don’t think our No. 1 or No. 3 is currently on the roster).

      1. XXXXX
      2. Cueto
      3. XXXXX
      4. Leake
      5. Bailey/Chapman/Arroyo/Wood

      PS – tRA+ is a linear-weights pitching metric that assigns run values to every event under a pitcher’s control (more so than FIP or DIPS), adjusting it for ballpark and defense, then adjusting it by league and placing it under the familiar 100=league average scale that we expect for stats with a + after them. Put another way, it’s a pitching version of wOBA+, or more basically, it’s billed as a more accurate ERA+.

      • Arroyo was arguably the worst stater in baseball this year, so I’m not as optimistic as you are that he can “revert back to being a solid #4.”His tRA+ was 67.League average tRA+ for a No. 5 is 76.Arroyo looks even worse when you consider the mythical 5th starter doesn’t really exist at all.It’s more a hodge podge of games to AAAA pitchers filling in for injuries, games to prospects, etc.

        Could someone explain to me why it is that Cueto is not a good enough #1 starter and Leake could not be a two or three? Cueto came close to leading the majors in ERA and Leake was the most consistent and durable starter the Reds had. I know that many believe that the Reds are going to trade for a starter. That does not mean that the starter has to be the #1 starter a top of the rotation starter is also a #2 starter. I doubt that there will be any team with a top flight #1 starter they want to trade. If they do, wouldnt the Yankees and Red Sox get them? I understand that a guy like Mat Latos or James Shields may be available, but Latos and Shields are not #1 starters. At least on their teams. More importantly, what is someone like that going to cost. What are you willing to give up and does that make the team better? The Cards are not blessed with much after Carpenter, but they are playing for the pennant and if they had a bullpen, they might have already made it to the WS. The Phillies had lots of starters, but they did not hit. By the way, those calling for Jacoby to be replaced should notice that arguably the best hitting coach in the majors is the hitting coach of the Phillies. Rudy Jaramillo created the offensive abilities of the Rangers for a long time and yet it did not transfer to the Phillies. Someone recently said that coaching and the manager make very little difference, the players are the only ones to look to if a team fails.

  5. @pinson343: That is a relative statement. He needs 1-2 mph on it. He needs to flirt with 90 consistently. I don’t think that is unrealistic if he has a few extra pounds on his frame.

    He needs to come up with a better pitch for lefties, a cutter or something. Sultan is right, addressing the lefty problem will be pivotal for his career from here on out.

  6. @OhioJim: Good points. At the time, the team needed Arroyo to be the calm in the middle of those other injuries. A good lesson in robbing Peter to pay Paul in the end.

  7. Arroyo’s record for HRs given up by a Reds pitcher should have an asterisk beside it, with a not giving partial blame to both Baker and Jocketty. He obviously wasn’t healthy to begin the season, and was never at full strength. I have no problem with a guy saying “I want to go out and do the job you pay me to do.” And I fully understand that with 2 other starters injured and the “ace” having his problems, somebody had to take the mound every 5th day. But at some point during the season, someone in charge should have stepped in and made him take at least 15 days off. They never even so much as skipped his turn, even after having a shot because of a back issue.

  8. Arroyo’s got too much pride in his “never missed a start” streak and it’s hurting the team. As others are saying here, he should have been on the DL for part of last year. Dusty and Walt are his enablers.

  9. @rightsaidred: But Bronson wasn’t close to flirting with 90 consistently last season, he was often 86-87. The problem is definitely with LHed hitters. He related the loss of velocity to his problems with lefties, as without the fastball he can’t get lefties out with his changeup.

    I agree with you, another pitch against lefties would be a big help.

  10. @pinson343: Maybe Arroyo should go down to the Dominican and work with Mario Soto change up like Soto threw. Easy on the arm, dives out of the strike zone; and when the finger weighting and flip is just right it has a bit of screwball action, That would seem to be what the doctor ordered for a pitch to use on lefties.

  11. @Matt WI: As somebody else said on down the thread, the management was also an enabler in the whole situation. They could have sat down Bronson and flexed that depth they had been telling us all about. The reaction was consistent with later in the year when they seemed to try to avoid using their younger players.

  12. You guys are making excuses for Bronson. His strikeout rate dropped in 2009. He’s going to be 35. He’s only had one really stellar year since he hit the 200 IP/yr mark and that was in 2006. So you’ve got a guy who was about major league average at his peak, and now he’s older and he’s stopped striking people out. He’s not going to get better in 2012.

  13. @Myles: You are seriously saying that if someone told you that you had to take over or under 5.07 ERA for Arroyo next year, and your life depended on it, you’d take over?

    I am an Arroyo detractor, but I’d probably bet the under there. I’d guess somewhere between 4.50 and 5. Which isn’t good.

    • @Myles: You are seriously saying that if someone told you that you had to take over or under 5.07 ERA for Arroyo next year, and your life depended on it, you’d take over?

      I am an Arroyo detractor, but I’d probably bet the under there.I’d guess somewhere between 4.50 and 5.Which isn’t good.

      I’d take the “he’ll stink so bad in 2012 to damage any chance they have to make the playoffs; hence paying him is not just setting fire to cash”

  14. @David: Arroyo’s projection seems really hard to make because of the mono wildcard. But I’d tend to agree that a #4 starter is a stretch.

  15. When Arroyo himself ponders the questions of age and how many innings are left in his arm as he did at the end of the season, that should set off alarms and red flags.

    Being the type of guy he has shown himself to be I think there is little doubt he will do everything humanly possible to be as good as he can be with what is left in his tank. However I am not optimistic.

    Then again I also think he is the needle in a haystack type of guy who might find some thing where no one else could; and, also he also might just be the type to actually walk away from that last year of (guaranteed) money if/ when he realizes it just isn’t there any more.

  16. Chad…bro don’t sweat it. This is just a bit of a back slide based on the fact that Bronson bit the bullet coming out of the gate when he wasn’t ready as Cueto and Homer were hurt and Dusty left him to hang a few times in the 6th and 7th when he wasn’t ready to get it done. He had some good starts and if you trim a few innings here and there on the total, just like every Arroyo year, it doesn’t look as BAD as the entirety on the baseball card.

    I feel pretty good betting on a Bronson rebound. The guy is a pro and will put the work in to make it happen. Mark him as your #3 and feel ok with it.

  17. Bronson Arroyo is like a better than Randy Wolf or say Levan Hernandez, he’s really better than his stats if you pay attention grasshopper.

    I think he just didn’t have that extra gear to grind on some of his earlier starts, as he was weakened by being sick early one. The dude is still a machine to some point. Just think of those beautiful starts where Bronson throws like 70mph and makes people look stupid.

    The guy knows how to pitch and gets the most out of what he’s got. He might get slammed but that’s part of the bargain. Don’t sweat the homers Chad, part of it is the dude is working with Great American, which would be a bitch for Cy Young or Tom Seaver… take yer pick.

  18. This is why I like Bronson so much: He’s thoughtful. How many players look at themselves at his age and say “darn, I’m getting old, I need to work harder.” Will it work? I don’t know, but it certainly can’t hurt, and I’d love to see another couple of good years out of Bronson, because he really is a stand up guy, and his performance through 2010 was extremely important to whatever success this team has had of late. Like Right Said points out, he’s lost 2 MPH off his fastball since 2009 (courtesy of pitchFX data) and it’s not unrealistic to think that with some extra work he could get that back.

  19. 1) Cueto is good enough to be a No. 1, but you need at least two front of the rotation starters and the Reds don’t have that. Whether Cueto is 1a or 1b, I don’t care, but you need another dominating arm.

    2) There are plenty of pitchers, rumored on the trade market, which are average “aces,” meaning their tRA+ is league average for a front of the rotation starter: Mat Latos, Scott Baker, James Shields, and Gio Gonzalez. There are also a host of guys who have the potential to return to ace form like Chad Billingsley.

    3) I don’t know why you think Latos and Shields are not No. 1s. Can you name 20 pitchers who are better right now? Not guys that project to be aces like Pineda, Teheran, and Moore, but 20 guys right now who are better?

    4) Someone like that is going to cost a lot. To add two arms to the rotation (including a Shields type) the Reds would probably have to trade Alonso, Francisco, Boxberger, Wood, Cozart, Grandal, and more; but, that cost isn’t prohibitive if it means a playoff rotation which the Reds DID NOT have this season.

    What if the Reds could add Price, Shields, and Upton for Votto and Chapman?

    5) Apparently Garcia is nothin’, huh? Adding Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright to next year’s rotation is probably not going to help St. Louis either.

  20. I think what we have here is a bunch of numbers guys who just look at base numbers and take nothing else into account and form their view. This is great maybe if you are buying stocks, but when it comes to baseball, you have to look at more then just numbers, yes I know there are those here who don’t buy that, but it’s true. Baseball is more then just numbers, because you can see that with this year’s world series. If you went just by the overall evaluation of the numbers, there is NO chance that the Cards are in the World Series and while the Rangers had a good season, by the numbers they were not the best team in the AL this past season.

    Bronson will never be the strikeout guy the number geeks want, but when 100% healthy he brings alot to the team and that can’t be reflected on a numbers chart. Right now I have more confidence in Bronson having a greater positive impact on this team next year over can’t miss Homer Bailey.

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